A large articulated mixed media object marks the entrance to the exhibition. For people unfamiliar with Tony Urquhart’s creations at first glance his objects look unfamiliar, mysterious and other worldly. But don’t be mistaken it is art at its best. Urquhart’s creations always challenge and provoke the viewer to explore and engage with his art. Doors of his sculptures open and close to a surreal world. Tony calls them three dimensional painted objects, however, the Canadian art community knows them as his box sculptures. These sculptures have been collected by public art institutions across the country including the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada. Urquhart’s sculptures and paintings are meticulously worked, every conceivable square inch of the object, including the hand painted frames and mats that become part of the paintings. These artworks by Tony Urquhart are so delicately hand worked by the artist that they take on a nature of their own. Urquhart’s choice of working mediums and formats are unique to Canada. In the mid 1960’s when abstract painting in Canada was all the rage Tony charted a different path creating imaginary landscapes on paper, canvas, board, as well as painted three dimensional mixed media objects.
For this exhibition we felt it was important to showcase three of the very best senior contemporary Canadian artists each working in very different mediums, each providing a very unique tactile experience from their work. Henry Saxe, one of the artists highlighted in this exhibition grew up in Montreal and attended the École des Beaux Arts de Montreal between 1956 – 1962. Henry works generally in metals creating floor mounted installations, aluminum sculptures and sculpted aluminum paintings that are unlike anything that we have seen in Canada. Saxe is a process and theory driven artist who has been influenced by mathematical theories throughout his career. He creates these fantastic sculpted paintings and machine like sculptures using plasma cutters, metals, acrylic paints and spray paint. Henry’s large work space resembles the likes of a machine factory, with his sculptures scattered about, and his tools organized neatly to begin his future projects. In 1973 Henry Saxe’s artwork was showcased in a major retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada, and since then Saxe has gone on to show his works at the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Montreal and internationally at public art institutions in the United States.
Douglas Haynes has been recognized in Canada for his breakthrough ideas on the application of specific acrylic gels and materials and his formalist style abstract painting. Haynes was a towering figure in Canadian art. At first glance his paintings, their intensity of colours, and the floating shapes that appear to be liberated from the surface will knock you off your feet. When looking closer at his paintings, you may notice an abundance of unique painterly applications using different acrylic gels and materials that create beautiful surface tensions and finishes. Haynes was influenced by historical Spanish artists such as El Greco, Velasquez and Titian, but Haynes recreated these rich figurative works in to full blown abstract paintings. For us, this exhibition is partly an homage to Douglas Hayne’s life and tremendous art career as Doug sadly passed away in February of 2016. And thankfully his legacy and works will continue to be enjoyed by the public at Canadian art institutions across the country.
Don’t miss Tony Urquhart, Henry Saxe, Douglas Haynes: Material Discoveries, Oct. 16, 2018 – Nov. 4, 2018, at the IX Gallery, 11 Davies Ave., Toronto, ON., M4M 2A9, corner of Queen St. E. and DVP. Exhibition Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 12 p.m – 6 p.m, or by appointment. To view artworks and C. V’s by these artists please visit www.jamesrottmanfineart.com. Do not hesitate to contact us or call us directly at 416-893-5784 with inquiries regarding this exhibition.